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Reckless Rooney overshadows England's 2012 qualification

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Phil McNulty | 07:14 UK time, Saturday, 8 October 2011

Podgorica, Montenegro
As England's players trudged through Podgorica's puddles close to midnight while lightning illuminated the skies above The City Stadium, the latest storm raged around Wayne Rooney.

Rooney made his way silently on to the waiting team bus, cast in the role of the villain who had placed a dark cloud over England's satisfaction at reaching Euro 2012 with the draw they required against Montenegro.

What should have been cause for celebration as Fabio Capello's goal was achieved became an inquest once Rooney inexplicably - and irresponsibly - kicked Montenegro defender Miodrag Dzudovic in an act of wild indiscipline 17 minutes from the end of a frantic final qualifier and was promptly sent off.

England's ambitions of winning Euro 2012 were put into sharp focus by the manner in which they allowed a position of ease afforded by goals from Ashley Young and Darren Bent to slip into the desperation of uncertain defence after Elsad Zverotic pulled a goal back for Montenegro with the final kick of the first half.

It was followed by the moment that overshadowed the achievement of qualification. Rooney indulged in a spot of routine jockeying for possession with Dzudovic before swinging his right foot in a hack at his opponent's calf.

Rooney sent off against Montenegro

Wayne Rooney was sent off for this tackle on Miodrag Dzadovic with 17 minutes to go Photo: PA

England's performance, which fell off a cliff after the perfect first 35 minutes, had already hurled a bucket of cold water over anyone who felt they might be successful in Poland and Ukraine.

It was then undermined by a moment of madness from their finest player.

Capello's after-match briefing understandably became an examination of his decision to play Rooney a little over 24 hours after his father had been arrested in a probe into alleged betting irregularities. It is easy, with hindsight, to suggest Capello should have left Rooney out but in reality this is nonsense. England's coach had been assured by the player about his state of mind to play in a game of major significance and was right to take his word.

Rooney is the sole culprit here, as he has been before, for letting down his coach and his team-mates with another reminder that an explosive temperament is never far beneath the surface.

And so it begins again. Rooney's back story runs like a thread through England's recent history at major tournaments and it will again now he is suspended for at least the first game of next summer's tournament.

In 2004 he was magnificent in the European Championship in Portugal until injury. Before the 2006 World Cup supporters were asked to touch a diagram of his broken metatarsal in a national newspaper in a bid to speed the healing process - the reward was a red card for kicking Portugal's Ricardo Carvalho in a losing quarter final.

In South Africa last summer, out of form and crushed by boredom, Rooney was almost a passenger at the World Cup. In other words, Rooney and major tournaments do not always get on. On occasions England cannot live with Rooney, but they simply cannot live without him.

And yet the deal Capello and England make in return for his genius includes moments like that which came amid the thunder and hostility of Montenegro on Friday.

The sadness of his latest red card is that he had shown genuine signs of maturity in recent times, but the kick that gave referee Wolfgang Stark one of the easiest red cards of his career was mindless.

It may well be that these dark forces that persuade him to act as badly as he did here will now accompany him until the end of his career.

Part of Rooney's magic is his unpredictability, his spontaneous nature and approach - but it also comes with a combustible temperament and this is baggage it now seems he will carry forever. Issuing strictures about growing up is easy, but this dark side seems to be a permanent presence.

It meant England's qualification came at a price, which mattered little to Montenegro who concluded heavy pressure in the second half with an equaliser deep into injury time by Andrija Delibasic that sent his country into the Euro 2012 play-offs.

Rooney left his 10 remaining colleagues to face a baying, passionate mob of a crowd and a Montenegro team on an upturn. Ultimately England will have been happy to take a draw, their place in Euro 2012 and fly home.

This was a night high on emotion and the equaliser was the signal for wild celebrations amid supporters of this proud, tiny nation of 625.000 inhabitants. It continued after the final whistle when, in a somewhat unusual tradition, players returned to the pitch without their shorts in joyous scenes.

Capello can now turn his attention to next summer, but only the wildest optimist would study England's body of work and their squad and predict success in the face of competition from the likes of Spain, Holland and Italy.

Manchester United's 19-year-old Phil Jones had a tough debut at right-back, with some good moments mixed with tough times against the talented Stevan Jovetic but he should now get his chance in the centre of defence as Capello varies his option in friendlies.

Ashley Young looks a player of increasing international assurance while Theo Walcott's cross for the Manchester United player's opening goal was as fine a piece of creation as he has produced for England.

And yet it all comes back to Rooney. England may not be among the favourites to win Euro 2012 but their chances improve immeasurably when he is playing - sadly the streak of reckless indiscipline that refuses to disappear means they will already travel to Poland and Ukraine at a disadvantage.

Comments

Page 1 of 6

  • Comment number 1.

    would like to see rooney retire from international football, why would you take the hassle to play with a team of such poor quality, with midfielders who are unable to pass the ball (lampard, barry, milner) would be enough to frustrate a saint

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    If i was Rooney would just pack in at International level , nothing to be gained by playing for england apart from press ripping the back out of you .

  • Comment number 4.

    @1 - totally agree, but why do something like that, and like Redknapp said we have now lost our best player for the very least one group stage game.

    Again Capello using Lampard and Parker, how many times does it take to realise they are awful, Downing simply awful, because he has gone to Liverpool doesn't turn him into a good player, same with Parker and spurs. Would rather see Delph or Barton in the middle! At least they would run back and actually tackle somebody.

    A.Johnson had a good weekend, so has better form, quicker, fitter and better control than Downing.

    The whole match was poor, another performance that every England saw which makes them say 'I ain't going to watch the next match if they play like that' but you end up down the pub everytime knowing you be screaming at the television wanting an England player having some heart to win!

    Capello should of gone a long time ago, Euro 2012 will just be an embarrassment of English footballn as a whole if thay guy is in charge. But the FA will do their usual and go get a club manager who has no idea how international management works.

  • Comment number 5.

    Andy - as much as I don't like Gareth Barry and think he should be nowhere near a starting place, the only reason he gets picked is due to his range of passing. Credit where it's due.
    For Rooney to retire from international football at the age of 26 would be an unbelievably petulant and childish move...though given his on-pitch antics it might be on the cards.

  • Comment number 6.

    Rooney's attitude is the barometer of how well England are doing. England were woefully poor in the second half and as a result he gets sent off through sheer frustration.
    No one can keep a ball and this current England set up hasn't looked like a team under Capello.
    Walcott and Barry are not good enough. Bent still leaves a lot to be desired but the main problem is Capello still won't leave 4-4-2 alone. And for anyone saying he played 4-2-3-1 is just kidding themselves. Look at the team sheet and then tell me Alex Ferguson plays Rooney in midfield.
    Still, there are some good players coming through and I will be supporting them next year. I just wish they had the confidence at International level like they do for their league clubs.

  • Comment number 7.

    Could never imagine the likes of Messi, who gets far worse treatment, reacting like that. Frustration at the poor service is no excuse.

  • Comment number 8.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 9.

    I really do not know what Micah Richards has done to offend Fabio Capello. Jones is a centre back and really looked out of his depth at right back, could easily have conceded a penalty. Really think that Richards deserves his chance. He has been excellent this season for City.

    The less said about Rooney's idiocy the better really

  • Comment number 10.

    Sigh, article focusing on one man in a poor team performance. Yes, what Rooney did was stupid, but the press have focused on it, rather than an performance which went downhill after the first 35 minutes. England need to perform for more than 35-45 minutes if they want to do well in the big tournaments.

  • Comment number 11.

    Rooney is one of the most over rated players in the world, even now there are people that put him in the same bracket as ronaldo and messi if he has one decent game. Rooney stands out in england because he is above average, no more. most english players are average a best.....Would his growing maturity be threatening to leave one of the biggests clubs in the world that 'he loves' just to get a better contract, or was it last season he just ran straight into a player off the ball, flattening him with his arm.Rooney is an embarassment.

  • Comment number 12.

    Seems to have been a media love in with Parker but I hae said it time & again he doesnt cut it at the highest level an never will. Same goes for Barry but then again what are our options? I recorded Spain v Czech Rep. & it was further proof that possession is key at International level, we cant hope for 'a bit of pace' up top.

    Rooney was getting rave reviews for his dropping deep but surely he shouldnt be asked or feel the need to do so, he cant influence the game by crowding the midfield.

    His kick out was stupid & I dont think that will ever leave his game but one thing that was a little different was that he accepted it & did not go in a childish rant about it. Doesnt excuse his actions but 2 years prior he would have been having a pop at the ref, fans etc.

    Micah Richards would be a good shout at right back, Jones doesnt look comfortable there & Cahill wasnt strong enough at centre half for both goals so maybe a switch insdie for Phil is on the cards.

  • Comment number 13.

    He got sent off, big deal! get over it. Sick and tired of how the media sensationalises absolutely everthing these days

    It wont be because Rooney got sent off that we wont win Euro 2012. If we're struggling to beat teams that have only been in existence for 4 or whatever years then i, for one, would take anything after the group stages as a bonus.

    Rooney this, rooney that. temperment is awful etc etc. THe guy is human, no matter how much money you earn wont change the genetics of a person. if for whatever reason i am in a strop i may explode on those around me. its happened before and it will happen again, deal with it.

  • Comment number 14.

    Parker demonstrated clearly why he hasn't played for England until now - his performance was at the heart of everything that went tactically wrong.

    The guy simply cannot pass forward - there was a spell before the second goal where he spent at least five minutes just sidepassing until thankfully someone took the ball off him and knocked it up field.

    And how many times did their players run straight past him like he wasn't there?

    Just poor.

    Jones was found out too.

  • Comment number 15.

    Cahill been outstanding for Bolton and there solid defence this year ..................................................no that's not right

  • Comment number 16.

    Still good to see the rah rah boys of rugby Yawnion getting beat by france

  • Comment number 17.

    Preetster - why do the media even mention it? That cheeky chappie Rooney, he'll never change god love him. His petulance and unproffessionalism should just be accepted by all.

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    Its about time our media stop building this guy up,yes he is a great premier league player but at the highest level his talent his suspect.apart from his performance against denmark in 04 what has he achieved since. England do not need this so called 'no.10' we need to develop a team of 'no.10s' who are able to express themselves fully,not having rooney around may just help with this.

  • Comment number 20.

    Silver lining? Might be interesting to see an England without Rooney. He might be our best individual player, but that rarely seems to translate into a team effort.

  • Comment number 21.

    Great stuff Wayne, nice early rest for the proper football this weekend then potentially half of next summer off.

    Clever thinking.

  • Comment number 22.

    The fact that Rooney was only talking about becoming an England captain a few weeks back is laughable after these actions. He may be our best player, but as far as captain material goes, he is in the bottom of the league.

    Not that it makes a difference, with our slow midfield, confusion in formation, and shocking teamwork we are just not good enough with or without Rooney.

    Terry, Lampard, Barry, Gerrard, Downing, and even Rooney if he continues to let us down. Get A.Johnson, Sturridge, Welbeck, Wilshere, Rodwell, in the team.

    Young, Hungry and hopefully not bothered by Hello and OK magazine deals like the so called "Golden Generation"

  • Comment number 23.

    poor blog, typical scapegoating one player, Rooney was stupid and immature, no excuse but it should not be used to cover up the fact that the whole england team had a really poor game.

    perhaps if the press were not so quick to nationally condemn individual players the england team would play with a little more confidence and less fear....but anything to sell papers

  • Comment number 24.

    I think we should praise Rooney for trying to stop England from qualifying. Euro 2008 was the best recent tournament thanks to no focus on England.

    Shame that England qualified anyway.

  • Comment number 25.

    I notice Mr McNulty is still in love with Rooney but I find it a grave injustice that after another excellent performance from Ashley Young, all he gets is "looks a player of increasing international assurance" really?

    C'mon one goal and the assist for the second!

    What else does this guy need to do to be rated? Seriously. Every single match this guy scores a goal (very crucial one indeed to give us the win against Wales BTW) or gets an assist and all he gets is "looks a player of increasing international assurance"

    Thank God for fantasy premier league which measures players in a more objective fashion where you can see he is the leading midfielder (both english or foreign) in the country in terms of adding value. More points than Nani, Nasri and David Silva.

    Left to these group of 'objective' commentators I shudder to think of what their analysis of his league performace to date will be. No doubt something along the lines of "he puts in a decent shift" or "he's done fairly well"

  • Comment number 26.

    Rooney is a GOOD player, but not a GREAT player.
    Great players perform on the international stage ie Pele, Marradonna, Messi, Cruyff, etc
    Maybe one day Wayne will elevate himself to the higher level, for his countries sake I hope he can achieve this.

  • Comment number 27.

    OH SERIOUSLY? Every time. Its a Utd player who gets the blame....its obviously got nothing to do with England being naff. Beckham 98, Neville 00, Beckham again in 02, Rooner for breaking his toe in 04, Ronaldo in 06, we didnt qualify for 08, probably Fergie's fault, and then Rooney for being non-existant in SA.

    F Phil mcnulty damming rooney, i bet you if he scores on his first game back you'll have a column up saying "wayne rooney - world beater" or something as equally contradictory as what you're saying now.

    Id rather him not even go to the Euro's anyway.

    Club before country!

  • Comment number 28.

    Even with Rooney sent off, England should have been able to defend for the remainder of the match.

    So I dont understand using him as a scapegoat.

    Was his sending off stupid, yep it sure was.

    Should it have meant England lost, nope not really.

  • Comment number 29.

    -Lost + Drew of course.

  • Comment number 30.

    I don't think he's really been scapegoated considering as you rightly point out there was ultimately no failure in qualifying for Euro 2012. What's ridiculous about criticising Rooney ruling himself potentially out of the whole group stage in such a petulant and needless manner? I don't really understand how people can suggest he's getting harsh treatment when he himself has talked about the England captaincy yet does something as stupid as that.

  • Comment number 31.

    Great players perform on the international stage ie Pele, Marradonna, Messi, Cruyff, etc

    -----------------------------------------------

    Messi? He's never done anything at international level. Ever.

  • Comment number 32.

    I am scared for Rooney. Seems like the last year is not over yet. We badly need Sir Alex to step in and help him overcome before it gets more reckless. I truly wish someone like Sir Alex to be the England manager

  • Comment number 33.

    I have never been as uninterested in the national side as I am now. Acts of petulance are just one of the things that are turning me off. Non league football is where its at. Passion and sportsmanship without the irresponsible behavior

  • Comment number 34.

    Rooney getting sent off might be a blessing in disguise

    So many times in the past England have relied on one striker - Lineker, Shearer, Owen and when they get injured there always seems to be panic about England's chances at tournament.

    it means Capello should use friendlies to give other strikers a chance to stake their claim

    Parker - useless ? he's the most consistent England midfielder in the country and he has been waiting for so long to get his turn now behind Gerrard and Lampard so a few games people are writing him off.

    Those who defend Rooney... he said he was in the right frame of mind to play and gave Capello his word... and now he does something utterly stupid which means he could be flying to Euro 2012 and England may be out of the tournament after 2 games ( hopefully not)


    As for those saying Rooney retires he's got a lot more passion playing for his country than someone like Jame Carragher or some of the fringe players in the current squad

    He's only 26 and still not at his peak

  • Comment number 35.

    Absoloute rubbish! everyone gets sent off nowadays for things that don't warrant red cards! Rooney flicked a boot at some blokes shin and he's suddenly cost us the game! well ok, the rules are rules but take the 'petulance' out of him and we haven't got half the player! doesn't mean he's a national villian or a bad player overnight!

    The performance of England however wasn't simply good enough! they should have built on a good first half but were defensively poor and non creative in the second half! We now have to be realistic about our chances in Poland & Ukraine and we simply aren't good enough mentally to win the competition!

  • Comment number 36.

    Let's raise some issues that will never ever be raised by a journalist, Mr McNulty :)

    Key match for England's qualifier for the Euro Championships and, when the date comes, mysteriously Rooney's father's whatever becomes top news on the press.
    - I won't mention the "innocent until proven guilty" because I don't care, simply. Still, it's still allegations until a judge decides on the matter.
    - De Gea stole a 50pence sweet thing from a major supermarket - where do we start laughing?
    - Ashley Cole used in the past a gun and shot somebody at Chelsea's premices. For God's sake, will the press ever sack stupid journalists for more yellow than yellow news?
    - When Crystal Palace are short of cash, Real Madrid, Barcelona and the rest are keen on some Crystal Palace's nobody, until he manages to find a club for £1m or something.

    They never have an end.
    But the proud British Press is the Nemesis of the sport that England introduced to the world.

    Watching the match, when the incident happened, my mind went to Zinedine Zidanne and the way he left football, while playing for France. I'm referring to the headbat incident from which everybody remembers what Zidanne did and nobody remembers what that dirty little nobody was whispering to Zidanne, for God knows how long.

    From the Rooney incident, SAF should have had an alarm by now, to ensure professional specialists help Manchester United players on how to get past whatever opponents tell them, in the ear, you know, during a United's fixture.

    All in all, England qualified yesterday and everyone should congratulate the team and the manager for that. The manager who, on the days of the most important fixture for the national side, press, pundits and Mr Carragher were shouting as loud as they could that he is past for the England job, already.

    No, I won't mention the word professionalism for journalists, neither for Carragher, neither for the pundits. I suppose the only innocent in days like this are these silly football fans in England who are driven from the ear to whatevery stupidity some want them to believe in.

    Have a great weekend, all :)

  • Comment number 37.

    @11 How can you ever say Rooney is over-rated? Have you not watched a Manchester United game for the last five years? Every game he is the key player - every game he gives 100% - He know what a player is doing behind him, and then does a 40 yard pass to his feet on regular occasions.

    Messi, he cannot play without Xavi or Iniesta in his team! He is the same as Rooney with England.

  • Comment number 38.

    Non league football is where its at. Passion and sportsmanship without the irresponsible behavior

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    Same old drivel when it comes to England. 'Passion', 'Bulldog spirit', 'digging the trenches' etc. Yet nothing about keeping the ball, technique or tactics.

  • Comment number 39.

    I take issue with a section of this blog post. Namely, and I quote: "only the wildest optimist would study England's body of work and their squad and predict success in the face of competition from the likes of Spain, Holland and Italy."

    I agree that England have no chance at Euro 2012, but I still have to ask: do you even watch football outside of England/the Premier League?

    Spain and Germany are comfortably Europe's finest teams. Both have won nine from nine in qualification. How dare you list Holland and Italy as contenders before Germany. I accuse you of prejudice towards Germany; 1945 was a long time ago.

    Did you see Italy at the world cup? Tell me who they have that even comes close to Ozil, Muller, Schweinsteiger etc. Their youngsters aren't great either, who do they have on the same level as Mario Gotze?

    Have you noticed that Holland use Bruma (a terrible defender who is part of a Hamburg team currently bottom of the Bundesliga) together with Mathijsen (sold by Hamburg over the summer due to his ineffectual displays) as their two centre halves? You think they will challenge with this type of defect? Yes they have star players, but let's just look at who they are: Robben, van der Vaart, van Persie. What do they all have in common? Oh yes, they're always injured. You think all of these players will line up in every game next summer? "Oh but they've got replacements". Sorry, I forgot about Eljero Elia.

    Please think before you write; otherwise you could end up looking like an idiot.

  • Comment number 40.

    Once again one man gives England a bad name,this man Rooney has shown before that he cannot be trusted on temperament,therefore he will never be remembered as a great player,also apart from the odd occasion,he never produces for country what he does for club,so comparison is pointless,England can do very well without him,thank you.

  • Comment number 41.

    @27 Could not agree more, it was 'United this, United that' last night when he got sent off. Maybe if England stopped relying on United players but then putting them in a stupid formation they never use at club level. Play like United, win like United.

    Rooney and Young are most influential players that England have at the moment, play round them, play their club formation. Actually try something like might work! Its beyond frustration to watch England static doing a Michael (Carrick, only go sideways and backward!)

  • Comment number 42.

    only a man u fan would say Rooney is world class, the truth is to be world class you have to perform on the world stage. Rooney does not do that, he is simply a good league player. however "we" the supporters and the "press" tell hime we cannot be without him!!!! hence his comments about being bood after a poor performance.
    Gary Lineker was world class, the golden boots at the world cup prooves it, Rooney cannot last a full game when the pressure is on. so wake up and smelly the coffee!

  • Comment number 43.

    why is anyone still worried about england?have not watched a game since germany in world cup as im fed up with the lifeless/soulless rich footballers not even trying,we had no chance at the world cup once the squad was annouced,anyone remember james,carrager,barry,heskey all in the squad and playing,hart/young didnt get a look in,manager as no clue,FA has no bottle,after the world cup every nation that failed sacked there manager,except england of course!we wanted 2 more years of rubbish,please people stop wasting your time with england,international football is dying fast-im sure like me your are missing watching whatever team you support this weekend,all thanks to international footy!england will scrape through there group at euros then get beat by the first decent team they play

  • Comment number 44.

    I would be frustrated too. I am a world class team playing alongside a team that goes backwards after halftime.

  • Comment number 45.

    For me the team's problems after being 2 - 0 up started when John Terry should have moved forward to restrict the attackers shooting opportunity but instead backed off to the goal. JT was at fault for that goal happening and looks a spent force in the middle of the defence. Perhaps Phil Jones might be better filling that position? From that moment on the team fell apart and that shows how important JT's mistake then became for the remainder of this game.

  • Comment number 46.

    Football UK 36 - say that again

  • Comment number 47.

    I love the outstanding blindness of englands manager that we have only one league to pick from in england for players. One of the highlighted deficiencies of the team is the midfield, when there are hundreds of english midfielders that can be paired up to make something happen. We have a football pyramid with 4 professional tiers! There are several players in the champ that could quite easily develop into an amazing midfield to help wayne and Young (though a personality reboot for wayne would help a lot more).

  • Comment number 48.

    Like father like son.
    I wonder if Wayne is bright enough to see how is future is going to pan out if he can't get his head straight.
    Brilliant player but what waste of space. It's blatantly obvious what would happen if England did manage to get to a big final and Rooney started to get frustrated.

  • Comment number 49.

    If I kicked someone at work, I would be sacked. But then footballers can get away with anything I suppose. Typical Rooney, just can't control himself and he will never change. Already hamstrung for the start of the Euros, a competition that takes no prisoners.

    Just watched England's Rugby players go out of the WC. Why is it in this country we have to go though such a huge build up for so little to happen? Unfortunately we will have to go though it all again next summer in Poland and the Ukraine, with the inevitable let down when England go out.

    Business as usual for Englaish sport this weekend.

  • Comment number 50.

    I would have perused this blog earlier, but was busy watching an enjoyable France v England pub XV in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final.

    Rooney will never be rated that highly in years to come for two simple reasons:

    1. He's a good player who has flashes of world-class brilliance, but the English media and ''fans'' grossly over-rate him on the back of his performances against practically pub-standard teams who make up about half of the EPL.

    He's frequently found wanting against any decent calibre of team. Of course, he's readily raised into the pantheon of footballing greats by the Sky Sports-indoctrinated masses, after scoring a hat-trick against utter dross like Wigan or Burnley, but the knowledgeable followers and aficianados of the beautiful game - such as myself - will always see the glaring inconsistencies and inadequacies in Rooney's game.

    2. His temperament. It may be all very well acting like a five-year-old who doesn't get any sweeties if you're turning out on a Sunday morning for ''The Red Lion'', but for top pros, this petulance just isn't reasonable.

    In years to come, he'll be remembered for his ill-discipline and throwing his toys out of the pram, rather than anything football he plays on the pitch.

  • Comment number 51.

    I watched the whole game but I can't remember anything about it. I was too lazy to flick through the channels to find another game but that's my fault. Oh I do remember some of the Montenegro players had quite a decent touch. Don't recall any England players having any skill.

  • Comment number 52.

    Urgh, all these childish Man u fans demanding Rooney retire. How about he turn up and play. Young did, why can't Rooney. You can elect to be a man u fan, and claim lots of glory for yourself, but to desert England like you suggest Rooney should is the sort of moral cowardice you'd expect of glory supporters.

  • Comment number 53.

    Well ! What a disgrace ! Phil McNulty saying the most important thing is we qualified. All England are doing is delaying the inevitable. We narrowly got through, after a draw against Montenegro, who were inspiring last night... We are now up against teams who regularly fire in 2 or three goals a match, and rarely give away a two goal lead. They use tactics; teamwork; pride; passion and make the most of individuals' talents. What do we do? Lose the ball; Lose the lead; Lose the plot! We need to admit we were pathetic last night, accept our football is simply not good enough, & only then - after fooling ourselves for so long, can we pick ourselves up and create a squad of passionate players who are fit to wear the England strip. As for Rooney, why bother with him? He's not that good, just like most of the squad.

  • Comment number 54.

    @28 You got it spot on.

    Why focus on the Red card? If this was Arsenal losing a two goal lead, your article would have simply said they cannot defend. I can't remember you blaming Arsenal's red cards for their recent defeats in the games they had players sent off. The media wants us to believe England conceded two goals because Rooney got a red card instead of telling us the truth about the very poor defence. One man gets a red card and all focus goes on him. What would have happened if England defended properly and the game ended 0-2? Would the focus still be on Rooney?

    Last night was all about not defending properly. You can ignore that and pretend all it well, but opponents wouldn't. Let us see how Cahill and Terry Partnership works when England plays Spain.

  • Comment number 55.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 56.

    The reason United fans want Rooney to retire from international football, is so he doesn't get shown up on the international stage.

    They saw how it worked for Paul Scholes; he retired when he was regularly getting outclassed by other international midfields, but still ''turned it on'' against rubbish like Stoke or Ipswich at Old Trafford.

    It's only the fact that Scholes retired from internationals so early that there are so many people who still make the ludicrous claim that he was anything more than a consistent trundler.

  • Comment number 57.

    Urgh, all these childish Man u fans demanding Rooney retire. How about he turn up and play. Young did, why can't Rooney.

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    He did. Were you even watching?

  • Comment number 58.

    What a waste of ink!

  • Comment number 59.

    Let's just go through the process and get it over and done with.we have no hope of winning the euro's with the current squad and system.Sooner fab's gone and youth is brought in the better.We dropped deep at 2.0, we did not need to play counter attacking football, we was comfortable playing further up the field pressing them back.we just got slower and slower and more predictable.There's no need getting annoyed with England or Rooney, yesterdays news really, nothing new.We just need a real manager with some positive intent in his selections.

    Young brought balance the side on the left (obvious) hopefully the reason he came was for an injury.I'd prefer Johnson anytime over Downing, look at the stats on that one between them.Barry brings me to tears and Lampard brings nothing new to a game at any point, with no fightless bolton in front of him, what could he do.

    Parker looked busy and tried to keep the pace of the game up but no options.Can't wait to see Jack and the younger lads given their go, Henderson,Cleverley, Rodwell, some fresh legs to get us behind other midfield's.

    Jones done ok, looking forward to seeing him more centrally though, as he will push us further up the field to bridge the gaps (common sense in pressing systems).

    Quarter finals here we come.

  • Comment number 60.

    'England's ambitions of winning Euro 2012...' Not sure how or why they have any.

  • Comment number 61.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 62.

    @ 47.At 10:44 8th Oct 2011, Pete wrote:
    I love the outstanding blindness of englands manager that we have only one league to pick from in england for players. One of the highlighted deficiencies of the team is the midfield, when there are hundreds of english midfielders that can be paired up to make something happen. We have a football pyramid with 4 professional tiers! There are several players in the champ that could quite easily develop into an amazing midfield to help wayne and Young (though a personality reboot for wayne would help a lot more).

    ==================================

    I have to admit you deserve the biscuit of the day for this posting. :)
    I see in every national teams competition national sides managers pick midfielders, defenders, strikers and goalkeepers from the lower leagues of their countries LOL

    (thank you so much. I needed a good laugh)

  • Comment number 63.

    @52 - Why doesnt he turn up and play? Why doesnt everyone else turn up and play along side him? I would love him to desert England. You say im a glory supporter? Maybe you should look past the fact im a Utd fan, and see that i just say what a fan of every other club would do if their player got berated by idotic fans and idotic media everytime they played?

  • Comment number 64.

    David villa, stop fishing son, you're embarrassing yourself.

  • Comment number 65.

    You people should be proud of your team, they qualified, with style in some places. Now they are in with a chance of winning. Much better than us hoping to get in play offs, as Trappatoni would say "its all about the result".

  • Comment number 66.

    "Parker looked busy and tried to keep the pace of the game up but no options."

    No, Parker looked busy sidepassing, and backpassing, and sidepassing.

    He was the embodiment of a stodgy, slow, bore draw, grinding midfield - truly horrific to watch.

    We need Gerrard and Wilshere back.

  • Comment number 67.

    No problem with Roo being suspended for the first couple of games next year. The solution? Come forth out of international wilderness Emile Ivanhoe Heskey - your country needs you once more!

  • Comment number 68.

    The sad part for me is how much everyone is focusing on Rooney's red card. Silly, wasteful, immature etc etc. Of course it was all of that but look how far we have deteriorated when we depend on one player so much. The red card is the least of our troubles

    Capello continues to trundle out the usual cast of crusty old carthorses such as Terry, Barry, Bent, Lampard etc whilst taking the most talented defender we've seen in years and playing him out of position. We also take a striker like Darren Bent, who can score from 5 yards out, and make him the target man when his ball control is woeful. It's absolutely shambolic to watch us crumble like a house of playing cards against a side with hardly any pedigree.

    The inaccurate passing is becoming farcical. If these same players made the same mistakes for their clubs, they'd never get a game. I've maintained since South Africa that this team with Capello is toast. The players have no desire to play for him anymore and it shows in performances like this.

    Can't wait for the Euros next year when we'll get another hammering from either the Dutch, Germans or Spaniards.

  • Comment number 69.

    Who would be england manager however much you get paid, if he had left rooney out it would have been wrong, cos he played him he is wrong - ditto for the actual finals, tho there is no way Rooney will not be there - I dont believe it will all suddenly change with a different manager, we had lots of english managers who achieved very little.
    England were yet again poor, they had a 2-0 lead and instead of going for 10-0 which should be the case when they are supposed to be so much better than the other side they fall apart. I dont really think its lack of pride or whatever in playing for the national side but something is wrong.
    If we cant put away a much lesser side I dont see how we can do well against better ones - its great we qualified but looking at the bigger picture I cant see us getting very far

  • Comment number 70.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 71.

    England with Rooney = England without Rooney = Wont win Euros...red card makes no difference really...

  • Comment number 72.

    65. At 11:09 8th Oct 2011, withadarndalegirl wrote:
    You people should be proud of your team, they qualified, with style in some places. Now they are in with a chance of winning. Much better than us hoping to get in play offs, as Trappatoni would say "its all about the result".
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Well, the Republic of Ireland team is basically an England 'Z' team, made up of journeymen pros who were never good enough to play for England (not that you have to particularly good to represent England, mind). Ireland pick players whose great-great-aunts once bought a hat from County Kildare, or something like that.

    England aren't particularly good, but it's hardly a surprise that Ireland are much, much worse.

  • Comment number 73.

    259. At 20:48 7th Oct 2011, Football_UK wrote:
    Besides Montenegro scoring at the death, in the first half, I'd be surprised if England don't score another brace in the second half.

    261. At 21:00 7th Oct 2011, Football_UK wrote:
    Montenegro are too slow for their own good.
    England will definitely impress in the second half.
    Montenegro are as poor as I was expecting them to be.

    Montenegro scored at the death of each half. They played against 10 men for the most of the second half and exceeded their own expectations. Thus the wild celebrations at the end of the game.


    did u watch the game? according to all reports england had to hang on for 17 mins with ten men? not 45 !

  • Comment number 74.

    Really should have placed a bet on Rooney being sent off last night.

    Were there any abnormal betting patterns spotted in the Liverpool area? Again.

  • Comment number 75.

    The fickleness is amongst England fans is quite amusing. After his performance against Arsenal, less than a week ago, the ''fans'' couldn't get enough of praising Scott ''Messi'' Parker.

    Now, after coming up against a limited European side, people realise that he's just a journeyman pro who only looks half decent when playing against teams in the sub-standard EPL.

  • Comment number 76.

    I have to say that Football_UK's contributions to the other thread last night were comedy genius. A stint on Comedy Central awaits him, methinks!

  • Comment number 77.

    I bet Barry, Walcott, Lampard and co are glad that Rooney kicked the Montenegran defender, because it took the attention right off that sorry excuse of a midfield. Thats essentially the reason England lost, because the midfield was not creative enough. They should be getting all the critisism, not just Rooney.

    Whether u guys like it or not, Rooney is the only guy out of this sorry bunch that has actually performed at this level!!! He was a revelation during Euro 04, and has scored almost once every 2 games. He is proven international talent, no doubt! But one thing is for sure, he needs to seriously grow up. You cant kick people when ur not having a satisfactory game. Especially when u are infact WINNING!! The only English striker that can replace is probs Danny Welbeck, but its too early to say that yet. So far there isnt anyone at Rooney's standard and at the same time has a better temprament, so we just have to stick with him!

    These goons who are talking about Scott Parker failling, were u asleep during the match????? The guy was by far the best player on the pitch!!!!! By a country mile!! Contrary to some of ur ludicrous statements, i really think Phil Jones looks good at this level. He's only played one game at this level and even though he wasnt at his best id still give him 7/10 even tho he was played out of position for reasons only capello can tell us. He should most definitely form a central midfield partnership with Smalling, thats should be the centre of England's defence for the next decade or so.

    The match yet again showed that we have the worst midfield at international level. This is the thing people constantly forget, this is a TOTALLY different ball game to premier league football. People who set the premier league alight do NOT subsequently do well on the international stage. Lampard, Gerrard, Barry and prolific for their clubs, no doubt, but for their countries they are absolutely useless!!!! As for that useless lump Walcott, he has got to be one of the most over hyped players i have ever seen. I'll give him credit where its due, it was a good cross to Ashley Young, apart from that, there was no quality in any of his play, no great contribution from his, just the same old tippy tappy football with no spice what so ever!!! Barry, Gerrard, Lampard, Milner, Walcott, Terry, Adam Johnson and Ferdinand are not in any way shape or form international standard. The trio of Lampard Walcott and Gerrard being the most over hyped players to wear the England Jersey. They've been given too many chances and failled too many times, we've got to look to the future now and use the good talent we've got out there. The defensive back four of Cole, Smalling, Jones, Cahill/Walker should be the one for the next decade or so. Midfielders such as Parker, Wilshere, Young, Cleverly and even David Beckham should form the crooks of the English midfield. The attacking pair of Bent and Rooney is fine as it is, but it may be better to use Bent as a sub and start with Welbeck and Rooney.

  • Comment number 78.

    There's a reason that players like Rooney look so good at United and that is because the other players are actually decent and the manager knows what he's doing. United can field a team almost entirely of England players and look breathtaking, so why doesn't Fabio just look at that and understand how to get the best out of these players? How Danny Welbeck is left on the bench and Theo Walcott and Darren Bent start is beyond belief. These teams are certainly not picked on form otherwise I'm afraid half the team would be different.

    He is so stuck in his own little world of Barry's, Walcott's, Downing's, Terry's and England just look worse and worse every time they play. I personally don't think Rooney did anything that bad, in the Premier League I think he would only receive a yellow card for what he did, players do that all the time (Maybe not quite so obviously sometimes, in all fairness). I think throwing players like Joey Barton in to the team would freshen it up and maybe give England that bite that has been missing for so long.

  • Comment number 79.

    At 20:48 7th Oct 2011, Football_UK wrote:


    are we all seriously believe you actually was watching the game ?

    " They played against 10 men for the most of the second half "


    Rooney inexplicably - and irresponsibly - kicked Montenegro defender Miodrag Dzudovic in an act of wild indiscipline 17 minutes from the end of a frantic final qualifier and was promptly sent off


    does this now mean i and others need not bother to take anything you say seriously?

  • Comment number 80.

    Barry - was he on in the second half? Invisible, and when visible tended to lose possession. As for their first goal, as Jamie Redknapp pointed out Terry was at fault. In many games for Chelsea and now England goals conceded can often be put down to Terry being out of position; same applies now to Ferdinand. The common denominator here is returning from injury and losing that edge which kept then at their peaks.
    I would have said that Jagielka should start, however he is prone to mistakes this season, and I am an Evertonian. Cahill did not stand out this game, and Jones was a bit suspect and nearly gave away a penalty with a rash tackle.
    We need to sort this out or we won't progress far in the Euros.

  • Comment number 81.

    72. At 11:18 8th Oct 2011, The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa wrote:
    65. At 11:09 8th Oct 2011, withadarndalegirl wrote:
    You people should be proud of your team, they qualified, with style in some places. Now they are in with a chance of winning. Much better than us hoping to get in play offs, as Trappatoni would say "its all about the result".
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Well, the Republic of Ireland team is basically an England 'Z' team, made up of journeymen pros who were never good enough to play for England (not that you have to particularly good to represent England, mind). Ireland pick players whose great-great-aunts once bought a hat from County Kildare, or something like that.

    England aren't particularly good, but it's hardly a surprise that Ireland are much, much worse.


    Which England "2" players is this??????? You still having got over your Andy Carroll is a pub player phase :D

  • Comment number 82.

    #77 quote
    "Midfielders such as Parker, Wilshere, Young, Cleverly and even David Beckham should form the crooks of the English midfield."

    Are you suggesting criminal activities?
    'crux' is the word

  • Comment number 83.

    Rooney is a foolish player who doesn't learn from his mistakes. I'm amazed he was playing frankly given his head could not have been in the right place. If Capello thought he was ready, it shows the Italian has no idea about his players.

    England weren't going to win the Euro's anyway and if Rooney's ban is increased, why even take him to the tournament? He's a very talented footballer but opponents target him and he cannot control himself which makes him a liability.

    England should have moved on from Capello after SA and we are still seeing a set-up devoid of passion, imagination and discipline. The fact they played so poorly after spending 15 minutes in Capello's company illustrates how he cannot extract the best from his players.

    Playing Phil Jones at right-back ahead of Walker and Richards is an abject decision. Jones is a real talent but he isn't a fullback. Richards has been playing well for the last 12 months and cannot even find a place on the bench. What happened to picking players in form in their specialist positions?

    So cue the farcical over-reactions from everyone regarding England. The reality is they are not the best team in the world, but certainly not the worst either. Rooney is a talent but cannot go on acting with such petulance. They are stuck with a manager that seems unable to provide the correct selections, tactics or motivation and players who have no confidence to take charge of the situation during play.

    People calling for Rooney to never play again are as foolish as the man himself. England's talent pool is mediocre and ignoring Rooney would be shooting yourselves in the foot. England should have moved on since the humbling by Germany. Doing the same things over and over again and expecting different outcomes is the very definition of insanity. It isn't just rooney that is 'insane' when it comes to England!

  • Comment number 84.

    an article on Rooney's sending off? who would have guessed it.

    Can anyone tell me why Capello took off Bent to put on Lampard? It was ridiculous, he just went back to the useless formation of the world cup. No matter how good Lampard plays for Chelsea he is absolute rubbish for England. Just like against Wales, Capello plays Parker, Barry, and Lampard, who are as slow and uncreative as a sack of bricks.

    And why was Bent chosen to partner Rooney? He offered nothing. Surely Welbeck partnering Rooney was the best option, since they play so welll for Man United together. When Welbeck came on, he offered more threat in his 15 or so minutes for a 10 man england than Bent did for the rest of the game with an 11 man england.

  • Comment number 85.

    firstly, the Rooney sending off was silly of him but it is the ticking time bomb of wayne rooney, he'd been receiving kicks off the ball all game so was bound to eventually lash out under all circumstances. Capello should've recognised that earlier and when he bought Lampard on, he should've taken Rooney off for Welbeck as well, or even put Carroll on the bench and stuck him on up there. I wondered about how that team would do, it looked good but why did Barry even start? Lampard is on alot better form than Barry, and Terry was a liability. Walcott suprised me and was doing well in the game I thought and Scott Parker solid as ever, despite all the kicks he got. Capello seriously needs to sort his team selections out before the Euro's else it'll be the World Cup all over again, bring back Gerrard!

  • Comment number 86.

    Someone here posted that Rooney is suspect at international level yet listed Messi as one of those greats who made it at the top... Funny!
    Another post said Rooney is just an over-rated EPL above-avg player, and gave the excuse that half of the EPL teams are pub-standard, yet Messi is applauded every week for scoring loads in a league decided yearly by the El Clasico, guess other teams in the LaLiga are world class, right?
    Someone here even said he would have been sacked if he kicked a mate in his office while footballer get away with such, is there any sense in that? No, cos your office work is to some degree expected to be non-contact, football is otherwise.
    Like another post pointed out, remove Rooney's petulance & half his passion is gone. So i don't think it does anyone any harm if he keeps that in his game esp when it's not like he does it in every game.

  • Comment number 87.

    "These goons who are talking about Scott Parker failling, were u asleep during the match????? The guy was by far the best player on the pitch!!!!! By a country mile!!"

    Just unbelievable. You say England lacked creativity, then quote Parker as being the best player!? Watch the game again - he didn't nothing but sidepass, and when he did manage one forward it was always misplaced. He completely sucked he life out of the game when we were winning.

    lol@your ideas too - your so clearly a Manc. Jones has a future for sure, but he was out of his depth last night 5/10 would be generous.

  • Comment number 88.

    Let's be realistic about Rooney; Like Beckham he isn't the sharpest tool in the box and it takes a few red cards before he gets the idea. I suspect he will emerge as a better player after this. We need a few more creative players out there, Barry is simply not good enough.

  • Comment number 89.

    81. At 11:29 8th Oct 2011, withadarndalegirl wrote:

    Which England "2" players is this??????? You still having got over your Andy Carroll is a pub player phase :D
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    St. Ledger, Lawrence, Cox, Walters, the list goes on.

    Don't worry, I don't think Carroll has represented England in a competitive international yet, so if he finds out he's got some 5th cousin, 8 times removed, who once went on holiday to Cork, then Andy may just be turning out for Ireland some time soon. ;)

  • Comment number 90.

    7th Oct 2011, Football_UK wrote:

    many things.

    take your time with a constructed answer its a deep hole you are in if possible try not to bring Arsenal into it.

  • Comment number 91.

    74. At 11:19 8th Oct 2011, Rob04 wrote:


    very good point.

  • Comment number 92.

    Once again England perform terribly as a TEAM yet its all the fault of Mr Wayne Rooney. Its disgraceful how the press go after him in their annual witchhunt. Phil, your comments last night summed it up, I'm sure if he played for your beloved Liverpool you would be defending him. Its no wonder England are so awful at the Euros and World Cup when idiots like yourself seem content on ruining any chance we have before a ball is kicked.

    If I was a Man Utd fan I would be praying for the day to come when Rooney retires from international duty. He is by far Englands best player yet also the scapegoat for ANYTHING that goes wrong.

  • Comment number 93.

    Seriously who should be more hated in this country? The bankers of so called sports journalists? Its a tough one.

  • Comment number 94.

    Capello's after-match briefing understandably became an examination of his decision to play Rooney a little over 24 hours after his father had been arrested in a probe into alleged betting irregularities.

    Tabloid Phil!

  • Comment number 95.

    What is it about players that when they put on an england shirt, whether football or rugby, they behave like idiots both on and off the pitch? Why don't they understand that they are there as not only supposedly professional people but also as ambassadors for the country? They're a joke. We've more or less sorted the usual disease associated with football, fans fighting etc, now we need to do the same for the players. If they can't handle the pressure, despite the astronomical money they get then they should be booted out and kept out. Clubs need to get their act together and start dishing serious punishment out to players that offend, hit them where it hurts, dock their pay for a month, make it clear, behave like a professional, both on and off the field or be severely punished. If players have no pride wearing an england shirt, whether rugby or football then take it off them, end of story. If that means we can't put a team out then that says more about club level than national, time we started training that includes discipline at grass roots level. We need players who play for the sport not just for the money.

  • Comment number 96.

    i'm just glad we're a day closer to next weekend.

    i'm not in the habit of defending Rooney but we didn't draw because of his red card. like us against Everton last week. they didn't lose because of Rodwell, they lost because of mistakes in defence.
    last night we were already in free fall and the equalizer, apart from Rooney's temperament being questioned at some point, was the only sure thing.

    Rooney is a first class idiot, but he wasn't part of our defence which remained in tact and should have seen out 17 minutes of pressure.

    i used to love watching England regardless of the outcome, but nowadays it's an inconvenience thanks to second rate punditry, bloggers and so called experts added to the fact very few of the players couldn't care less about what should have been the biggest honour in the game.

    and to even suggest Rooney's old man getting arrested had an impact on Rooney. boo hoo. we all get sour news but simply get on with it. i don't remember kicking someone just because i had less than happy news.

  • Comment number 97.

    Wayne Rooney doesn't have the temper or the intelligence to be a world class player, he doesn't score against the best teams in the world and is just a pure liability just like all the other Man U players. He used to getting his way by the blinkered referees of the Premier League who are just used to his antics every weekend. He is just a yob get rid of him now!

  • Comment number 98.

    At the risk of boring you all I wrote after the South African disgrace that Capello should have gone and a purge of English football should have happened. Remember England v Bulgaria,the second half produced no more goals; at three up England should have come out and scored at least a brace, but no, they were boring and poor, yet again. It is painful to watch our international side. By the way, Prince Harry " cheeky chappies" don't get red cards - silly comment from you.
    Prediction Euro 2012, England will be lucky to reach the quarter finals. Disappointment follows disappointment., Oh to reprise that wonderful win in Munich, which is now like a dream. 1-5 to England, did that really happen. Micheal Owen hatrick - who is he?

  • Comment number 99.

    No pride no guts its like the soccer/rugby team players in an­ England shirt just want to take it off and go back to­ thir clubs, and get big money. England this rugby world cup­ were and insult to rugby. The soccer team at the last­ world cup were an insult to Soccer. Its club before­ country in England now no one wants to play for England­ for the pride. For me its over. I do not have an an English team in Rugby or Soccer that has any pride what-so-ever in wearing the shirt or playing for England. As a nation it would be better if we gave up on the international stage. Watch the players, it is clear do not want to be there the want to be back at their club. English international sport is dead. Its a farce that we have the Olympics and the 2015 rugby world cup. No Englishman will be proud to be there so why bother.
    Sad but true the last thing English sportsmen want to do is represent England

  • Comment number 100.

    I would like very much to see football abolished.

    Does anybody else think that Mr. Rooney senior bears more than a passing resemblance to Pongo pygmaeus?

 

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